Runners BIO: Craig Dixon
Club: Dorset Doddlers
Started running in 2005 and just about completed Flora London Marathon.
- MDS Finisher 2013
- IRONMAN Copenhagen, Denmark Finisher 2015
- 3:07:31 marathon PB
- Aiming to hit Marathon No. 50 in 2017
Social - Follow Craig
Event - Marathon Des Sables
DISCIPLINE - Ultra Running
Distance - Multi-day
DATE: March 2014
As at 2013 the calorie requirement per competitor for MDS was 12,000kcal on day 1 reducing by 2,000kcal a day, this is to be made up of food items rather than gels or powders (considered extra). This is checked on arrival at the bivoucs by the admin guys and can, according to the rules, be spot checked before each stage, in reality only the elite were ever checked.
My basic plan was to have a daily allowance of 2000kcal made up of:
Plus - Race Nutrition
It does not sound a lot but there is enough to keep you going, I never felt hungry. Spacing out the snacks during the run is a key strategy. Similar to water have eat/drink little and often, get used to doing this on training runs.
I ran with two water bottles and kept one for electrolytes and one for water. Space out your water consumption so you drink little and often and arrive at the checkpoint having just finished your last drop.
My number 1 target was to finish and enjoy the experience. With this in mind I started steady each day and ran each stage in sections allowing myself 2 hours between check points. I did not want to arrive after the 2 hours or too far under that time. It meant I kept it steady and actually finished further up the field each day as others dropped back.
Feet management is what everyone talks about, I wore normal road shoes (half a size bigger) with 2 pairs of socks each day. At each check point I allowed 10 mins to sit down take shoes and socks off and use some water to clean them and allow to dry in the sun. I got one blister on the final day and of all my tent buddies and I had the best and most envied feet.
With regards kit, take one spare pair of kit to change, good morale booster on the long day however after 20 minutes at 40 degree heat it is in need of a wash.
Take tin foil or a small lightweight metal sheet for a wind shield for your stove, you only need one or two per tent but you will be popular if you have one.
After each stage, air and clean feet, make recovery shake and elevate feet wearing compression socks for a while to allow best recovery.
Send emails to supporters at home, it is a great boost to receive emails back from friends and family.
Keep ipod for emergencies, I needed mine half way through long day and it saved me.
Keep your pack light and remember it will get lighter each day. Mine weighed 8.6kg before the 1.5kg compulsory flare.
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